• Archive for August, 2014

    Arrange bright berries and flowers

    by  • 31/08/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Arrange pretty berry and flower following Country Homes and Interior instructions

    Celebrate berry season and arrange colourful clusters into beautiful posies to brighten up the home. Blend garden favourite Hypericum blooms and berries with tawny eucalyptus leaves to add a seasonal glow to a room or hand-tie with a golden ribbon as a gorgeous gift idea for loved ones.

    Read more →

    Inspired by nature

    by  • 30/08/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Samuel_Winterbourn_for Ulster_Weavers_on_Country_Days

    We were captivated by these stunning wildlife designs by Samuel Winterbourn, inspired by his rural surrounds in the heart of the Cornish countryside. His beautifully intricate drawings have been turned in an accessories range by Ulster Weavers; his designs feature in striking colours on tea towels and canvas tote bags.

    The collection perfectly captures the beauty of the flora and fauna of the British countryside, with familiar country creatures including hares, foxes, owls and butterflies.

    We’d love to know which one is your favourite?

    Read more →

    Spend your weekend building sandcastles

    by  • 29/08/2014 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    sandcastles | Country Post | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    You’d be hard pushed to find a beach in Britain that isn’t decorated with some sort of sand sculpture. From classic overturned buckets to giant castles complete with moats and turrets, building sandcastles is great fun for young and old alike. With the sun set to shine this weekend, why not head to the coast and indulge in this traditional seaside pastime? The National Sandcastle competition is being held this Sunday at Croyde beach, so take to the sands and watch teams battle it out for the chance to win the sought-after title. For those of you with a less competitive nature, have a look at our shortlist of beautiful beaches around the UK – all with the perfect building conditions of course!

    Weymouth, Dorset
    Home to Sandworld, Britain’s one and only sand sculpture festival  (running from April to November this year), the pure sand on this beach sets solid – ideal for building castles to last. Take inspiration from this year’s literary festival theme and check out wonderfully detailed sculptures of favorite characters including Mr Men and Shakespeare.

     Meadfoot, Torquay
    Believe it or not, scientists have discovered that beaches in Torquay have the best sand and water mix for making sandcastles in Britain! They’re all lovely, but we have a soft spot for this one in particular. A mile from the harbour, it’s a beautiful little haven hidden away underneath a row of imposing cliffs.

    Polzeath, Cornwall
    A blue flag beach, it is nice and safe for little ones who want to make their mark in the sand! It’s nice and wide too, allowing you plenty of space to build big. Take a break from digging to take in the beautiful views along the north Cornish coast.


    Read more →

    Bake me a cake

    by  • 28/08/2014 • Country food • 1 Comment

    Blackberry cake

    The Country Homes & Interiors office has gone cake mad  – it’s that GBBO time of year again and there are endless discussions on all things baking related. So the time feels right for a cake blog. Cast your mind back to the first ever series of Bake Off – remember Miranda Gore Browne, with her signature dainty shoe and handbag bakes? Well she’s just brought out a storming new book which is packed with speedy ideas to fill your cake tin. This is one of our favourites (there’s no avoiding the fact autumn is most definitely in the air), a simple seasonal Blackberry Cake. Move fast with that foraging basket and you will still find sweet and juicy berries in the hedgerows.

    Serves 6–8 

    275g blackberries (don’t worry if you have less), unwashed
    150g unsalted butter
    3 large free range eggs
    150g caster sugar (or vanilla sugar), plus extra for sprinkling
    2 tbsp demerara sugar
    1 tsp vanilla essence, or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
    250g plain flour
    1½ tsp baking powder
    125 ml semi-skimmed milk

    1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line a 23-cm spring form cake tin that is at least 6cm deep with a cake tin liner – great to use as this is quite a runny batter. Alternatively use non-stick baking paper.

    2 Check  the blackberries and brush off any debris with a piece of kitchen towel (don’t wash them as this will add water to the mix), and put to one side. Melt the butter, and set aside.

    3 Put the eggs, sugars and vanilla into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment and whisk until pale and fluffy; alternatively use a hand-held electric mixer.

    4 Sift in the flour and baking powder, and mix until incorporated. Pour the melted butter and milk into the mix, and whisk again.

    5 Sprinkle a handful of the blackberries into the bottom of the prepared tin. Pour about half of the cake mix over the top of the blackberries. Sprinkle half of the remaining blackberries over the cake mix, then add the remaining cake mix.

    6 Put the cake tin on a baking sheet (to catch spillages) and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the cake is golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before taking out of the tin. Scatter the remaining blackberries over the top and sprinkle with caster sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have some).

    *Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can by Miranda Gore Browne (Ebury Press, £14.99). Photograph: Rosie Barnett.

    Read more →

    Love Laura Fletcher’s woven home textiles

    by  • 27/08/2014 • Country business, Country style • 1 Comment

    Laura Fletcher style setter | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Laura, of Laura Fletcher Textiles, developed a passion for weaving during her time at Chelsea College of Art. She loves to experiment with texture and colour, using mixtures of linen, wool and cotton to create beautifully unique homewares from cushions to lamp shades.

    Tell us a little bit about what you do.
    I create small woven samples in my studio. It’s crammed with designs and yarns but in an orderly way – I can’t bear mess! I then work with a traditional silk mill in Suffolk to develop them into lengths of fabric.  I love stripes so my designs tend to feature a lot of these in varying colours and sizes.

    What inspires your designs?
    I find beauty in the most subtle things, such as tree bark or weathered rope found on the beach.

    What do you love about the countryside?
    I love the wonderfully fresh air you get on wind-swept English beaches, there’s nothing else like it. I find it very calming to stand and take in the lovely colours around me. I have been brought up in the countryside and it is where I feel most content.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Calming, tactile and natural.

    Read more →

    Where coast and country meet

    by  • 26/08/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Country living room Country Days blog Country Homes and Interiors

    Seaside holidays may be a fading memory but we love a hint of coastal style in a country living room at Country Days.

    Here’s a way to combine the best of both – emulate the light and airy feel of seaside properties by painting panelling white and introduce chalky blue country fabrics such as pretty florals and cosy toning plaids that herald the onset of autumn. (Fabrics from the Ellingham Collection by Linwood.)

    The laid-back simplicity of a coastal scheme is reflected in the rush matting that adds texture underfoot, while wooden birds and a pebble mirror provide the perfect nautical finishing touches.

    For a similar country living room, take a peek at bit.ly/1p0uevD

    Read more →

    Take a sneak peek at our new issue

    by  • 25/08/2014 • Country business, Country craft, Country food, Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    Country Days blog, Country Homes & Interiors, October 2014 cover

    Everyone is saying that they can feel ‘Autumn in the air’ so here at Country Days we thought we would give you an exclusive peep at the new Country Homes & Interiors. Out this Thursday, 28 August, it celebrates the changing seasons and showcases the latest country-style looks in The Country Decorator Special.

    What do you like about the cover picture?

    Read more →

    Make a snug door curtain

    by  • 24/08/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments


    Cloak your home from winter chills with a snug door curtain drawn across entrances and thresholds. Made from a stylish hedgerow patterned fabric by Voyage, this door curtain featured in our October issue and mirrors the seasonal autumn changes beautifully with it’s design and colour. To discover how to recreate for your home click here

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not try our new Country Home Ideas app?

    Read more →